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Damages plaintiffs can be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is a legal principle that refers to a scenario wherein a person passes away due to the negligence, recklessness, intentional actions or criminal conduct of another party. This can include situations such as car accidents caused by drunk driving, medical malpractice or defective products.

In such cases, surviving family members or beneficiaries may be entitled to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. In many cases, wrongful death claims are resolved through negotiation and settlement rather than going to trial. Either way, significant damages may be awarded via settlement or verdict.

Economic damages in wrongful death cases

In wrongful death cases, a plaintiff may be entitled to recover the medical expenses incurred in treating the deceased’s injuries prior to their death. This can include hospital bills, medication costs and expenses related to surgery or other medical procedures.

The cost of a funeral and burial can be significant, and these expenses are also often recoverable in wrongful death cases. They can include the cost of the casket, burial plot, headstone and other funeral-related expenses.

Additionally, suppose the deceased was the primary breadwinner in their family. In that case, the surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for the lost income the deceased would have provided. This can include wages, salary, bonuses and other forms of income that the deceased would have earned over their lifetime.

Non-economic damages in wrongful death cases

In addition to economic damages, wrongful death plaintiffs may also be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering endured by the deceased prior to their death. This can include physical pain, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life experienced as a result of the defendant’s actions.

In some cases, spouses, children or other family members may be able to recover damages for the loss of companionship. Wrongful death can have a profound impact on the surviving family members, depriving them of the love, companionship and support of their deceased loved one.

Wrongful death lawsuits are a means for surviving family members to seek justice and compensation when a loved one’s death is caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party. By understanding the legal principles governing wrongful death claims and the types of damages available, of which only a few are detailed above, plaintiffs can better navigate the legal process and pursue the compensation they deserve.